The Park: A Ham-Handed Fable


Once upon a time there was a park. Dozens of large oak trees created a gorgeous canopy of green, squirrels and chipmunks romped around, enjoying the bounty of acorns from the trees. It was idyllic.


One day something strange happened. A few of the squirrels and chipmunks started growing but no one knew how or why. Being so enormous, they naturally required more acorns, so they started gathering more than they used to, eventually deciding to hoard acorns. They didn’t realize (because they weren’t paying attention) that the hoarding was making them even larger and ever more dependent on so many acorns.


Soon the enormous animals were working together to hoard acorns, leaving only the smallest and scrawniest for the other squirrels and chipmunks. Then they started using their size to scare the others away from the acorns. The smaller animals feared their own meager stores of acorns would be discovered and raided. Inevitably, they were.


In time, the large, hoarding chipmunks and squirrels left the smaller ones alone to scrounge and survive, occasionally deigning to release a charitable number of acorns to a few chattering animals who would squawk for help. Generations of new small animals took the place of old small animals while the large animals seemed to go on eternally. The small animals grew to accept the park as just the way things were, and lived their lives wondering every day where they would find enough acorns to stay alive.


And no one lived happily ever after.